After the excitement and anticipation of Program Director orientation in Miami, our team finally made it to Managua. We were immersed in the culture right away as we walked down to the Plaza to celebrate Revolution Day, one of Nicaragua’s largest national holidays, on our very first weekend.

After spending the weekend at the Manna Project house, we set out for Spanish school in Matagalpa, two hours to the north. Matagalpa is a beautiful, small city in a mountainous region known for producing some of the world’s best coffee. We each stayed with a different host family and attended Spanish classes together during the day, where we learned to cook delicious doughnuts called buñuelos and heard more about the history of the Nicaraguan Revolution. When we were not with our host families or in Spanish class, we used our rapidly expanding vocabulary to tour the city, visit museums and cemeteries, and hike the Cerro Apante.

Our team is now back in Managua, where we are wrapping up our training for community programs. We can’t wait to start!

Carissa Chen and Liz Rosenbaum, Nicaragua Program Directors